Mock crash serves as wake-up-call for Plaq. seniorsFeb 22nd, 2012 | By William Dilella | Category: news
For fifteen years, Plaquemines seniors have been warned about the dangers of drunk or impaired driving at any age with a complete recreation of an accident scene, including make-up induced injuries and prepared death sequences (body bag included). But the impact is very real, judging by the horror on the faces of the entire student body, as they watch classmates carted away in ambulances and helicopters, all the while, sirens a-whirling.
Kelly DiMarco, who is the Safe Schools-CTE Coordinator with Plaquemines Parish Schools, said that all of the organizations involved with the yearly eye-opening demonstration decided it was better to hold the mock crash before Mardi Gras, and a few months before the prom season.
“The students have a tendency during prom season to think they’re protected,” DiMarco said, which is sadly not the case.
Students who participated commented on the sobering nature of the situation. Commentators would stage calls, as students were forced to watch classmates reenact the painful minutes of solitude as help could be heard but was still to far away.
Volunteers were members of the senior class, some of whom had lost friends and loved ones in incidents with-in this last year.
“It’s real for me,” said Sarah Lepine, who had known someone hit by an impaired driver. “I can’t stand when people do stuff like this. I don’t like drinking and driving.”
Other members of the student body “victims” said they had volunteered because they wanted their classmates to face that situation, before it was a reality.
“I volunteered because I like doing stuff like this; it’s eye opening,” said Sean Matthews. “They [classmates] were scared when they saw it, they were screaming. But now they know: don’t drink and drive.”
In the scenario, several classmates were pronounced dead at the scene, while others were severely injured. Prepped with stage wounds, students were then allowed to walk through the Belle Chasse courthouse, looking at the scars, disfiguring injuries and possible fatal wounds on their friends.
Scott Polk, Chief Investigator for the Plaquemines Parish Coroner’s office, assisted in the event with the fire department, sheriffs department, school board and EMS. Because Polk, as the Coroner, sees the end result of a real accident.
“To see someone, who’s life is so young, taken from them is hard for us, it effects us all [at the office] emotionally and mentally, because we have kids of our own,” Polk said.
“We hope they think before they act, that they don’t drink and drive, and they realized that their actions can impact everyone around them.”